Blog

Christmas in France – love it or hate it?

I happened upon a post in a “Brits in France” Facebook group a few weeks ago in which a lady asked the group, “Does anyone else hate Christmas in France? Nowhere does Christmas quite like Blighty.” This post jumped out at me but not because I agree with her...

Could You Repeat That Please?

Jane Hunt, French resident for 7 years, provides some advice on improving your French listening skills: As a teenager, I was on holiday in France with my parents in the windy Vendée and I needed to buy a hair clip. I looked up the word, “barrette”, in the dictionary...

Taking advice – A cautionary tale for newcomers to France.

Dordogne resident Jane Hunt has heard it all! She says that when you move to France you will probably find yourself in receipt of plenty of well-meant advice from fellow immigrants. She says that some of it may help you; some of it may not. Read on and be warned! I...

Airbnb in France – Rules and Regulations

If you’re planning on using Airbnb to rent out a room, an entire house or an apartment in France, then this article is for you! First things first, you need to find out whether or not the place you intend to rent out is located in one of the municipalities in France...

France and its Fantastic Summer Festivals!

Everyone knows that big cities in France slow down in the month of August as the majority of its citizens escape to the beach or countryside for some much needed R&R! However, even if some big cities quieten down, lots of places around France (big and small) come to...

The Importance of Changing Your Mindset When You Move Abroad

When I moved to France 7 years ago I didn't really think about the fact that living in a different country would, over time, drastically alter my way of thinking. I also didn't realise that, even though I adapted to my new home, not all expats would do the same. Let...

Ten Questions You Ask Yourself When You Move to France

When I first arrived in France, I honestly thought that my life here wouldn't be so different to my life in England. After all, there's only the Channel separating us from one another! Oh dear, oh dear, how naive I once was! It didn't take long before the cultural...

La Prime d’Activité – The Work Bonus!

So what on earth is it? La prime d'activité is a financial aid aimed at encouraging people to work and supporting the purchasing power of workers with modest incomes. It is calculated on the basis of a quarterly declaration. The payment of the premium takes into...

Sworn Translations – Are They Necessary?

If you live in France you have most probably heard of sworn translations ("traductions assermentées" in French). If you have somehow managed to escape this annoying requirement and don’t know what it is, here’s a short intro: What is a sworn translation? A sworn...

Getting French Nationality: The Beginners Guide!

Like so many other Brits abroad, this was my reaction when I woke up to the results of the Brexit vote. To say I was in shock is an understatement and although I had a horrible feeling that the UK would vote to leave, I was still hoping that it wouldn't come to pass....

Becoming Bilingual – a How to Guide!

One of the most common questions people ask me as an expatriate is: "How did you become bilingual?" The funny thing is, it's often difficult to explain how I got to where I am now. I know I worked hard and I practiced as much as possible but one day it really felt...

How to Assemble a Dossier in France

In France, it seems like you need a “dossier” for everything – rent an apartment, consult a physician or even to find a nanny. The dossier is a nightmare for most expats, utterly confusing, and one of the hallmarks of the oftentimes Kafkaesque bureaucracy that rules...

The Benefits of Raising a Multilingual Child

My wife is Moroccan, I’m American and we live in Paris. The question of language always surrounds us. Should we speak in Arabic? English? French? When we were expecting our son, we knew this would be a question for him as well. As we sifted through Montessori-method...

France je t’aime, but not your bureaucracy!

There are so many things that I love about my life in France that I almost feel like I could write a list as long as J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings! I love the smell of fresh croissants in the morning and the view of the Eiffel Tower from my desk. I love the...